By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
Explosions rocked a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, Wednesday
evening as firefighters were battling a fire, causing multiple injuries,
A hospital in nearby Waco reported receiving at least 45 patients.
injuries that we are seeing are very serious,'' said Glenn Robinson,
CEO of Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. "There are a number of patients
that will be going to surgery.... It's a very, very unfortunate
Robinson said he did not know how many were in
critical condition. He said helicopters were en route for more of the
injured after earlier being grounded by high winds. And he said more
patients were being taken to at least one other trauma center nearby.
Moore, dispatcher with the Texas Department of Pubic Safety, said she
did not know how many were injured or the extent of their injuries.
"The fertilizer plant was on fire. Firefighters were on the scene.
There was an explosion ... followed by a second explosion,'' she said.
She said there were multiple damages to structures and vehicles. She
said she had no information on the cause of the blasts or fire.
reported at least 10 structures were on fire, including a school which
is next door to the plant. An emergency triage center was set up at a
high school football field.
The TV station said on its website that a shock wave was felt in parts of North Texas.
The Waco Tribune reported firefighters were among the injured.
The fertilizer plant is about 20 miles north of Waco and just off Interstate 35.
reported one of the nearby buildings damaged was a nursing home, and
state troopers transported some of the injured to hospitals in patrol
It also said the explosion knocked out electrical power to part of the community.
Of the first 45 patients to arrive at Hillcrest, 25 of them came by private vehicle and 20 by ambulance, Robinson said.
He said most of the injured appeared to have blast-caused injuries.